J. David Ellis
J. David Ellis, PhD, is an educator, consultant and broadband evangelist. The author of many studies on telecommunications, broadcasting and digital media, he teaches Internet technology and related social issues at York University. Recently David has started exploring the world of applied genomics for fun and profit. His blog - Life on the Broadband Internet - examines the role of technology and policy in transforming online culture.

Entries by J. David Ellis

The CRTC Picks What's on Your TV But You Pay for It

(4) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 5:30 PM

Tuesday, April 23 marks the opening of another critical public hearing at the CRTC. It will be considering applications to expand the mandatory distribution of channels on the basic TV service. The outcome will tell us a great deal about how far CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais will go to protect...

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DSL Rates Plummet in Ontario

(12) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 3:33 PM


Anyone who's ever spent more than 5 minutes reading my blog knows I've spilt a phenomenal amount of ink over the miserable state of broadband in Canada. In addition to some of the world's highest prices, we put up with unacceptably slow speeds, lousy...

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A Plain Language Guide to the CRTC Rulings Part 1

(3) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 4:58 PM

I've been gathering reactions to last week's CRTC decisions on wholesale rates for Internet access. My takeaway is a lot of people are having trouble understanding what the hell it all means. For example, calling the new billing model "straightforward" is hardly how I'd describe the CRTC's capacity-...

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Voltage VS TekSavvy: Privacy Isn't Our Only Worry

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 4:20 PM

Piracy is a lot like religion and politics. It tends to polarize opinion and get in the way of finding common ground for thoughtful discussion. That's the pattern we've seen in Voltage Pictures' demand for information from TekSavvy about putative pirating of their movies. Clashes between the studio and the...

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TekSavvy Customers Win Big in Federal Court

(4) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 10:13 AM

After weeks of getting bashed in the blogosphere, TekSavvy emerged from the hearing on Monday in the Federal Court with a big bright check-mark against the privacy problem, CIPPIC's involvement, the mapping of IPs against human beings, and the what-have-you-done-for-us-lately problem.

Let's summarize the issues that have framed the debate...

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Watching Voltage and TekSavvy Duke it Out in Federal Court

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 11:21 PM

Heading down to court Monday morning, I was concerned I might be late to get a seat for the Voltage hearing. I had my iPhone ready to record protestors and general ruckus. But Guy Fawkes was a no-show. I arrived to find the courtroom eerily quiet and half-empty.

What has...

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Infringement Assault on TekSavvy: Voltage Trolls Come North

(20) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 11:00 PM


"This is the first in a series of steps that will enable us to recover some of the losses we've incurred in the Canadian market. For a studio of our size, the losses we experience from piracy have a real effect. It means...
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How the CRTC Can Fix Wireless in Canada

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 2:26 PM

[Disclaimers: 1. I'd love to be replying to readers who've sent comments, but some gremlin in the HP servers is getting in the way. The techs are working on it. 2. I've been asked if my flattering comments about TekSavvy reflect some quid pro quo, financial or otherwise. Nope. I...

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What's the CRTC Trying to Pull?

(3) Comments | Posted November 24, 2012 | 6:34 AM


"The Wireless Code is being developed through a public consultation, which includes this online consultation and a public hearing in February 2013." - CRTC, Nov 13, 2012.

Wireless code, great -- online consultation, not so much

Back in the summer of...

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Talking Broadband With the TekSavvy Crew

(3) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 11:53 PM

Our broadband future may not be a wasteland after all

Last week, I sat down to talk shop with three TekSavvy execs who are breathing new life into the indie ISP sector. At the table were Marc Gaudrault, co-founder and CEO; Tina Furlan, Director of Communications & Marketing; and Pierre...

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CRTC as Consumer Advocate: Four Reasons not to Celebrate (Yet)

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 9:34 AM

Don't break out the Veuve Clicquot just yet

I think the CRTC's decision to get the incumbents' financials out of the closet is very positive -- another demonstration of Chairman Blais' public-spirited philosophy. But even Chairman Blais has a corporate history to live with,...

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The CRTC Gets Transparent on Internet Costs

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 11:00 AM

"It really boils down to this. How can we compete if we don't have cost-based input prices!? When incumbents have retail rates that are lower than the CRTC-approved costs and foreign investors run for the hills, you know something smells! We need real cost-based...
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Shock! Outrage! And Other Cool Facts About the Bell Fiasco

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 4:25 PM

CRTC watchers eat crow. Don't you hate it when the world changes faster than you can write about it? Thursday's triumph over Bell is wonderful for consumers; for the thesis I was developing here, not so much. The comments I've read all indicate the Astral decision shows Chairman Blais really...

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